School Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions

What do School Psychologists do?

School psychologists team with teachers, school administrators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and successful learning. They help evaluate student and classroom needs and develop systematic interventions when needed. For more information about the profession of school psychology, see the webpage of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

What's unique about the School Psychology Program at UWRF?

The curriculum at UWRF emphasizes collaboration, culturally-responsive practice, leadership development, and data-based decision making. Courses for the combined master's degree (M.S.E.) and specialist degree (Ed.S.) are primarily evening-based (4 p.m. or later start) and designed to be completed within four years. Many students find the structure to be an integral part of their success, allowing them to maintain daytime employment and/or time for other obligations as needed.

What courses are included in the curriculum?

 See the Required Course Sequence for a listing of courses and what term each is offered. Contact the program director to discuss details. 

When do classes meet? Are classes offered online?

Courses typically meet Monday through Thursday from September through May, with summer options being available for some classes. While some courses require entirely face-to-face course meetings, many courses are now hybrid in nature, with some course sessions being offered online. Most class sessions begin at 4:00 or 4:30 and run for three hours, once a week.

During the first two years of the program, School Psychology Program students can expect to take classes two nights per week, though available summer sections provide some varied options. During the third and fourth years of the program, students spend less time on campus and more time completing required field experiences in schools. Some required courses are only offered in the summer, with most of those class sessions occurring in the evenings at 4 p.m. or later. See the Required Course Sequence for a listing of courses and what term each is offered.

Where is UWRF located? Are all classes held on the River Falls campus?

The main UWRF campus is located conveniently on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, just 30 minutes from St. Paul, Minnesota. Additionally, about half of the program courses have their face-to-face course sessions meet in the newly remodeled Hudson High School, located just off of Interstate 94 in Hudson, making commute times even shorter for some students. See the map below to locate Hudson and River Falls or click on MAPS for more information.


What are some differences between the various graduate degrees offered in the field of school psychology?

Nationwide, school psychology graduate education can lead to Master's degrees, Specialist degrees, and Doctoral degrees. The Education Specialist degree (Ed.S. or equivalent) is the minimum degree required to practice as a school psychologist in most states. In terms of time to complete and total credits, the Ed.S. is part way between a Master's degree and a Doctoral degree.

Not all school psychology programs lead to all possible degrees. The program at UW-River Falls is a specialist-level program, with the Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) being the terminal degree. A Master's in Education (M.S.E.) is earned along the way and is an important milestone in the program, but students must complete the Ed.S. portion of the program to become license-eligible. 

At UWRF, the M.S.E. and Ed.S. degrees together make up the four-year school psychology program. Students earning the Ed.S. will have an excellent foundation in applied school psychology practice (i.e., direct work with children, youth, families, teachers and other educators in the school setting). 

Doctoral level training in school psychology is not offered at UW-River Falls. Prospective school psychology students interested primarily in college-level teaching and/or a career conducting research are encouraged to consider doctoral programs.

What is the accreditation status of the School Psychology Program? 

NASP logoThe UWRF School Psychology Program is fully accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Students are prepared with the highest quality nationally approved expectations, including comprehensive coursework and diverse field experiences. Graduates of NASP-approved programs are eligible for certification in Minnesota and Wisconsin and most other states. Graduates of NASP-accredited programs are also eligible for national certification (NCSP). 

How much should I expect to spend to complete the program? 

School Psychology Program tuition depends on residency and how far along students are in the curriculum (i.e., tuition changes as one progresses). For Wisconsin residents, the Master's Degree (M.S.E.) tuition is $432.96 per credit and then becomes $505 per credit during the specialist degree years (Ed.S.). For Minnesota residents with approved reciprocity status, tuition per credit is $653.96 (M.S.E portion) and then $505 (Ed.S. portion). Students with residences that do not have a reciprocity with Wisconsin will be charged a higher out-of-state tuition rate.

Tuition does not include the cost of textbooks or additional campus segregated fees. All tuition and fees noted here are based on 2022-23 Fall and Spring Semester rates and are subject to change. Tuition and fee costs in the summer are slightly lower.

An analysis completed in 2022 reflected an estimated total textbook cost of approximately $1250 to complete the UWRF School Psychology Program. Additional textbook cost analysis details may be found HERE. The textbook costs noted here are estimates only and may change over time.

For additional details, link to or contact Student Billing at (715) 425-3145 or  

What if I already have a graduate degree? What are my options for joining this program?

UWRF does not have a respecialization process and can only grant degrees to students who have taken the bulk and core or their courses (credits) from this institution. The program can not waive practicum/internship in school psychology for a student who has completed a practicum/internship in counseling or clinical psychology. Candidates can only receive a degree and be considered graduates from UWRF if they have taken the core courses in school psychology from UWRF. A degree can not be granted based solely on transcripts submitted to the university.

If I already have a graduate degree in a related field, can I complete the program in less time? 

A student with an advanced degree may transfer up to nine approved credits into the program. The transfer of credits may lighten the course load a student experiences in some semesters but the overall time needed to complete the program is not shortened in most cases. Contact the program director for more details.

What value are my undergraduate credits in related fields?

While undergraduate coursework or majors in related fields are not required for entrance, they are viewed favorably by faculty and may enhance an application to the program. However, only graduate courses can be submitted for transfer credits. Courses submitted for transfer course are accepted only if they closely match a UWRF School Psychology course and only if they are five years old or less. Up to nine credits may be transferred into any UWRF graduate program. Prospective and current students are encouraged to consult with the program director about transferring credits. Transfer of graduate credits must be requested with the required credit transfer form.

Can I get graduate credit for my work experiences? 

The School Psychology Program does not give credit for work or life experience to fulfill a class requirement. Class requirements can only be waived through credits documented on a transcript. However, work experience may be considered an asset during the application process, and life and work experiences in related fields provide an excellent foundation for learning in graduate school.

Where are students placed for their field experiences?

During the third year of training, School Psychology students complete practicum with cooperating school districts in western Wisconsin and in or around the Twin Cities of Minnesota. The locations of these experiences are determined by program faculty and will be prioritized by student learning needs. Students complete two 300-hour practicum experiences in two different locations, for a total of 600 hours of field-based practicum work. This is equivalent to about 20 hours per week in a school setting for an entire school year. Students are expected to make practicum a priority. Students may need to reduce or eliminate other daytime work in order to accommodate the practicum experience. Consistent with national accreditation (NASP) requirements, the practicum experience is unpaid. 

During the fourth year of training, School Psychology Program students complete a required 1200 hour internship. The internship is full-time and follows the completion of practicum and all other required coursework. Candidates for internship seek out their own internship sites and locations, with assistance from program faculty. Most School Psychology students complete the internship in Wisconsin or Minnesota, but proximity to campus in not required. Most internships are paid, many at the rate of a first-year practicing school psychologist. 

Can I complete field experiences over the summer?

Not usually. Registration for practicum and internship occurs only during the fall and spring semesters. Students are expected to attend seminars and participate in individual and group university supervision. Faculty do not usually provide supervision during the summer months, though exceptions have been made for unique or extraordinary situations. The program director must approve any exceptions.

Contact Us

School Psychology
227 Wyman Education Building